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Interview in Arabic with a poor demonstrator, saying why he has come to Tahrir Square on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 to demonstrate. He is asked how he feels about what's happening in Egypt. He replies, "My feelings? My feelings? How do I feel about having a family that I cannot feed? I feel like I'm living on the streets. That's how I feel..."
December 31, 2011 - Cairo, Egypt: Amazing Rage is a Khalil Raouf Documentary about the ongoing Egyptian Revolution, presenting an intimate look at the uprising from the front lines. The film is Executive Produced by Transterra and is currently in post production. Please contact Transterra regarding this film at [email protected] or contribute directly to Khalil's film on his Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ourdaysintahrir/amazing-rage?ref=live
The President of the Saharawi Red Cross during an interview with a member of the NRC on behalf of the UN.
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: Ahmad Shah is a 12-year-old from Panjwayi, a district in Kandahar province. I met him on a chilly January afternoon in Kandahar City while I was in front of my office.
Ahmad approached me and asked whether he could clean my shoes. He had a sad looking face, an oversized coat, and fingers blackened by shoe polish. While he cleaned my shoes he told me a little bit about his life.
Like most villagers in Southern Afghanistan, Ahmad’s father was a farmer. He used to grow many types of vegetables on his land, including onions, tomatoes, and spinach.
One night, two years ago, Ahmad woke up to the sound of air strikes and gunfire. He told me: “I heard gunshots and blasting everywhere. I realized my father was outside watering his plants and I started to cry. My mother and my sisters also cried. We were all afraid.”
Later that night, Ahmad discovered that his father had been shot in the fields and was dead. The neighbors buried him in the village graveyard.
Ahmad’s mother had already lost several relatives in an air strike and she thought that if she remained in the village any longer she would lose her children too, so she decided to move to Kandahar City with her son and her four daughters.
They set up a patched-up tent in Kandahar’s District 7 and tried to begin a new life. Ahmad became a shoe shiner. He said: “I don’t have brothers. I’m the only man in the family so I must work to support my mother and my four sisters.” The family’s finances had become Ahmad’s responsibility.
Ahmad’s mother also tried to find a job, but she is illiterate, and has no real working experience, given that she has spent her whole life taking care of basic chores within the four walls of the house. Moreover, employment opportunities for women are rare in Southern Afghanistan because many people think it’s shameful for women to work outside of the house. Therefore, apart from washing her neighbors’ dishes and begging for money in the streets, Ahmad’s mother still has not found a regular job.
Ahmad explained his routine in the following words: “I walk around the streets and I clean people’s shoes. I get paid 5 Afghani for each pair of shoes I clean. On a good day I can make 100 Afghani [the equivalent of US$ 2]. But some days I have no luck and I end up going home with 40 or less.” On those days Ahmad and his family cannot afford to buy enough food for everyone.
The rainy season is especially hard. Ahmad said: “When it rains I can’t get any work, and then the rain gets into our tent and the quilts get wet. So we can’t sleep and we’re all wet and hungry. It’s the worst! We have to wait until the sun comes back, and our things dry up, and I can go back to work. Life is tough but I have to take care of my family.”
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: After my English class, I waited for a friend outside the school. Suddenly a man with a big black beard, a big black turban, and typical countryside clothes approached me and asked for some money.
He scared the hell out of me because I was told by the school’s administration, and by the other teachers, that a group of Taliban had made it into Kandahar city.
Taliban suicide bombers frequently target English-language schools in order to close them, because the students who learn English often start working for the U.S. Army as interpreters.
I looked at the villager and told him that he was a strong man and that he should work to earn his money–not beg in the streets.
He looked into my eyes and smiled. “You’re right,” he said. “But look here.” He lifted up his shirt and I saw a wide and bloody wound. I really could not believe how many stitches were on his stomach. It was awful.
The man told me he was from Helmand province. He said NATO airplanes had bombed his house and that he was the only person who survived from his entire family. Badly injured, he wound up in Mirwais Hospital, in Kandahar. When he was discharged he went to live in a hut in the outskirts of the city.
I felt sorry for the man, so I told him that someone I know could help him find a job as a watchman in a government building. He answered: “I would rather die than work for the government.” Then he walked away.
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: Last week a foreign military convoy zoomed through my neighborhood. I was going to the bazaar with a friend when I noticed it approaching.
My friend turned to me and said: “Hey, the street is not crowded, but still these soldiers are driving too fast.”
A taxi that was in front of the convoy did not slow down and make way, so a soldier fired one shot in the air as a warning. The driver got scared and stopped his car abruptly in the middle of the road.
I watched in disbelief as the first armored carrier bumped into the taxi and pushed it to the curbside. The convoy did not stop. A few seconds later all the armored vehicles had disappeared around the corner.
My friend and I walked up to the taxi. Two passengers were hurt. One woman held her neck and complained about the pain.
All the people in the street were displeased with the soldiers. One man said: “These foreigners can’t even take care of their own security, how can we expect them to protect us?” Another man said: “Look, they don’t care about us. They’re not here to help. They have their own aims.”
I think the second man was right. The people in the United States think that their army is here to help Afghanistan but if regular Americans came here to Kandahar to see how their soldiers behave they would understand that nobody really cares about us.
Interview produced in 2009. Malala Yousafzai is a school student and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. On 9 October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
Interview with Malala Yousafzai in 2009.
Malala Yousafzai 2009 Interview.
Malala Yousafzai 2009 Interview & B-roll
Interview with Taieb Fassi Fihri, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco from 2007 to 2012. He has subsequently served as adviser to King Mohammed VI on foreign affairs.
*Interview in French